To keep people from being deported, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — commonly known as DACA — sprang to life in 2012. It was created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Essentially, it was created because of people who had come to the United States as children, though they had entered illegally. Usually, this meant that their parents also entered illegally. These children had no say in it and many were too young to even understand what was happening or the potential legal ramifications.
For instance, imagine that two parents snuck into the U.S. illegally in 2001, with their newborn baby. They lived in the country until they each passed away in 2020. The child, now a 19-year-old adult, came to find out that they were not a citizen since they were born elsewhere.
Deporting that 19-year-old wouldn’t make much logical sense. They didn’t choose to come to the U.S. They had no idea they were here illegally. They didn’t remember living anywhere else. This is a person who certainly wouldn’t think of their birth country as their home in any sense. To keep from just sending them “back” to a country they had essentially never lived in, DACA was set up to protect them from deportation and allow them to work.
The problem with the modern application
However, the program has run into some issues. Rulings have been made saying that DHS did not follow the proper steps and may not have had the authority to set up that program. Some want to disband it, which would put tens of thousands of people at risk of being deported.
Right now, those deportations aren’t happening, but DACA also isn’t exactly running the way it did in 2012. It’s in a legal sort of limbo while the Biden Administration tries to save it and the courts rule against it. What will come of it in the future is currently unknown. It could be remade under a new name or the entire process could be phased out.
As such, it is incredibly important for all affected by this to know where the law stands currently and what legal steps they need to take to protect their status and their very life in the U.S.